During each student project there comes a time when the simulations meets reality, where we test our project in the real environment for which they are designed to operate. The morning of the 24th of April was the day when Anton Erasmus tested his self-built drone, Griffin, at the Helderberg Radio Flyers Club.
Anton’s project is titled “Control of a rotary wing UAV with a flexible payload”. This practically means his rotary wing UAV must be able to control a payload with no information of the payload’s mass, length and other dynamic variables. Drones will be delivering a variety of packages, and the control system should be able to adapt to packages changing in form and mass after each delivery. This makes the project very interesting and very useful for future technology.
Support was given by fellow ESL students who provided moral support and helping hands. A test pilot was organised to fly Griffin in case any anomaly occurs to ensure the safety of the vehicle and environment. This was done by Mr. Michael Basson, with whom the ESL has a long relationship.
The goal of the flight test was to ensure that the orientation controllers are behaving as expected. From the observed behavior and verification of the measurement data, Griffin successfully maintained a stable flight throughout the test.